COLORADO CITY, Ariz. – The officers with the Mohave County Sheriff’s Office began to patrol Colorado City Friday.
Mohave County Sheriff Tom Sheahan and deputies began daily patrols in the polygamous border town. The purpose of the patrols is to help ensure the rights of citizens, particularly those not belonging to the Fundamentalist Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, against civil rights violations allegedly committed by local authorities and law enforcement.
A complaint was recently filed by the U.S. Department of Justice against the Colorado City and Hildale town governments for numerous civil rights violations. Town utilities, as well as the Colorado City Marshal’s Office, both of which are under staffed by members of the FLDS Church, have interfered “with the housing of rights of non-FLDS members” through coercion, intimidation, and threats, according to the lawsuit.
“This action is necessary because of evidence that local police placed their allegiance to Warren Jeffs over their duty to enforce the law objectively, regardless of people’s religion,” Arizona Attorney General Tom Horne said in a statement.
The patrols are made possible through a grant provided by the Attorney General’s office. The grant, $500,000-worth, will pay for deputy sheriff overtime and expenses to provide fair and unbiased law enforcement services to this community on the Arizona-Utah border.
“This is a monumental occasion and we are focusing our efforts on helping those in this community who are in need and working with our County Attorney Matt Smith and Attorney General Horne to root out corruption in this city government,” Sheahan said.
Copyright 2012 St. George News.